The current version of WWII historiography is that after WWI, the Versailles treaty unfairly singled out and punished Germany. The German people resented this, and when the Great Depression came in the 1930's, the Versailles treaty went from irksome to unbearable for the poverty-stricken people. At that moment a fiery demagogue promising a socialist solution to poverty and a nationalist solution to the unfair Versailles treaty gained the hearts of many. When combined with the thuggish terror tactics of the Stormtroopers, Hitler somehow managed to seize power and become a dictator. Unbeknownst to the German public and German army, this madman's true goal was to kill all jews and conquer the world. He then spent the next six years from 1933 to 1939 re-arming and expanding the German Reich, until he invaded Poland and thus started WWII. From there the expansionist madman while still at war with Britain decided to declare war on Russia and the USA and conquer them both as well. Believing in the power of his secret weapons and invisible divisions that only existed in his head, he continued waging this hopeless war against the entire world, not even caring for the costs to the german people he led. By 1944 everyone was against him and the German army almost managed to assassinate him, but protected by some devilish power it failed and so the war went on until the bitter end. Not before Hitler managed to exterminate six million jews in secret gas chambers and fifty million innocent people all across Europe however, a testament to the power of the most evil madman ever to walk upon the earth.
Ok now let's take a breather. This story is absurd, and it's sad that just a few decades after the war, with most people still alive and eye witness to the events that transpired, such a warped web of lies could be constructed and pushed on the subsequent generations. Let's have another stab at WWII through a more balanced eye:
After WWI, the Versailles treaty unfairly singled out and punished Germany. The German people resented this, and when the Great Depression came in the 1930's, the Versailles treaty went from irksome to unbearable for the poverty-stricken people. At that moment a fiery demagogue promising a socialist solution to poverty and a nationalist solution to the unfair Versailles treaty gained the hearts of all Germany, men, women and children rallied to his leadership. Hitler, by throwing out the Versailles treaty, rearming his forces, reclaiming German territory like the Ruhr valley, refusing to pay any further reparations, and employing people in massive road-building projects regained Germany's economy and its pride. Finally Germany was no longer a broken, defeated people but a resurgent power on the move with hope on the horizon. Hitler, like most Germans, blamed jews and communists for the defeat of WWI, and insisted they were still sabotaging Germany even in to the present day. Because of this, a crackdown on jews and communists started pushing back against this inner threat to Germany's new prosperity and power. Many communists were put in prison camps and jews were kicked out of sensitive industries like the press and encouraged to emigrate out of Germany.
Through use of political brinksmanship, Hitler managed more amazing diplomatic successes in the return of ethnic German land to what had been the WWI borders of Germany. He even achieved an anschluss with Austria, with a wildly popular referendum of 90%+ voters agreeing to the combination of the two german nations. Hitler then gobbled up Czechoslovakia, another state created by Versailles with illogical borders. Originally belonging to the Austrian (a German empire) Empire and consisting of large numbers of Germans, Germany felt this nation should also belong to 'the Reich.' Czechs at first bitterly resented this intrusion, but did not resist and soon found the socialist measures of the Nazi state like pensions, social security and labor laws an actual joy to live under. No one was murdered and nothing was looted. Hitler's goal was not just the return of WWI's Germany/Austrian Empire however, it was simply a first step in his plan to conquer massive lands in the east, 'all of Russia to the Urals.' With this territory, Germans could have all the natural resources and farmland necessary to create a great Empire like the British or the Americans. They would finally have the imperialist mercantilism system that had so enriched other European states Germany had failed to achieve.
Natural resources would flow into the Reich from all corners of their empire, and finished goods would flow back out, sold to the far corners of the Empire at a handsome profit. With ensured materials and an ensured market, Germany would be an economic cornucopia and the German population could grow indefinitely into the new hearty soil of the Ukraine, etc. This also would ensure Germany's military might. Germany itself lacked crucial wartime resources like steel, nickel, coal, oil, bauxite, etc, etc. All of it had to come from abroad. This of course was a national security risk because should war break out, none of these supplies necessary to upkeep your war machine can be secured. If the rest of the countries refuse to trade with you, Germany's military would be supine to any invasion or enemy who wished to abuse them. With so many enemies to Germany's left and right, including the French who always hate Germany, the Russian Bolshevists who made it clear they intended to conquer and communize all of Europe, and the British Empire always leery of any continental power, Germany would only ever be safe after winning these lands in the east and thus supplying their military with an unbeatable resource base. War was inevitable with Russia due to the need for their land and due to the poisonous and aggressive nature of Stalin and bolshevism, and it was inevitable with France due to their fear and resentment of Germany whenever Germany attempted to become preeminent (just look at how France declared war on Germany in 1870 to try and keep bavaria from uniting with Prussia to form Germany), but Hitler hoped to stay at peace with Britain and America, who he felt had no horse in these conflicts and would be better served with a Greater Germany than a USSR anyway.
Meanwhile, Hitler hoped to gain as much power and land as possible without war, so that when war came he would be in the best position possible. His old tactic of brinksmanship was used to regain Memel, old WWI German land, and was after Danzig next. When the Poles refused Hitler decided to invade, taking not just Danzig but all of western Poland back, which still was part of old WWI Germany and simply a reattachment of German people to their motherland. To his surprise however, Britain and France declared war on him over a purely local conflict of no importance to their interests. After this, events began to snowball out of Hitler's control. Now that war had begun with France and Britain, it was imperative to secure all the natural resources in Europe that were outside Germany's borders, so that his army could stay equipped and supplied. Furthermore, it was imperative to keep Britain from gaining any toehold in the continent anywhere because they could use it as an airbase and bomb German cities or oil refineries and the like that supply the German army. When Britain made a move for Norway, Germany responded by invading and conquering Denmark and Norway for itself. Germany invaded the neutral Belgium and Netherlands, refusing to leave such a weak point for the British to make use of in the future, and conquered France in a miraculous couple of weeks. France was then given extremely lenient peace terms and effectively removed itself from this war, happy to not suffer the same losses as in WWI. When Britain made a move on Greece, Hitler invaded and conquered the entire balkans. And when Britain made progress in North Africa, Germany sent in troops to repulse that and conquer Egypt. Germany could not afford british occupied European territory anywhere because the air and sea power significance of a british outpost was simply too threatening, and every country Britain occupied would mean one less trading partner giving Germany her necessary raw materials. Aside from Poland, who Germany particularly resented and despised, none of these occupied territories were mistreated either. Seeing the way the wind was blowing, and given the obviously aggressive intentions of Russia who had at this time just conquered parts of Finland, the Baltics, and Besserabia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria all joined the axis powers.
At this point Hitler decided it was time to invade and defeat Russia, before they were fully prepared for war and as a means to isolate Britain and force her to surrender for lack of any further allies. Seeing as how Stalin was simultaneously making speeches to his central committee that the USSR was almost ready to invade and defeat Germany, Hitler's decision was simply a wise military move, a preemptive strike in self-defense not only of Germany but now all of Europe the USSR was so obviously gunning for. Of course, Germany's intentions were hardly so noble as that. They intended not just to defeat the USSR, but annex western Russia into a vast German empire and use it as an economic base to form a German Empire that, as Hitler hoped, would soon become the foremost power on earth and the 'center of the world.' They did not intend to kill or enslave all the slavs who happened to already live there, but simply to ignore them and use them, like the British did to India, while colonizing the farmland with Germans and making the steppe 'bloom' with German culture and industry. Given the fate of eastern Europe and the USSR before and after WWII, who can say this was a worse alternative than the one they actually endured? Was Europe, the Ukraine, Belarus and the rest really better off as part of the USSR than Greater Germany? We'll never know, since Germany never managed to implement its goals. But it's hard to believe anything could have been worse than the ravages of communism during the 20th century.
The war with Russia originally went well, but Germany soon began to learn that they had tackled an enemy far stronger than they imagined. Russia had more tanks, planes, and troops than Germany. The only thing saving Germany was the superior strategy, tactics, and bravery of the German army. Even this 'aplomb' and 'elan' could not defeat the Russian winter, however, and soon Germany's blitzkrieg ground to a halt. The attempt to knock Russia out of the war in a few months was dashed, and it was only through the miraculous tenacity of both Hitler's leadership and the German army that prevented a rout all the way back to Germany's borders during that first ill-fated winter. Meanwhile, the USA had been posturing more and more aggressively against Germany. They were attacking german U-boats, supplying Britain with war materials, and letting volunteers fight for the British air force. Germany, seeing that FDR's government was intent on war with Germany even though the American people were against it, decided the best he could do would be to divert the US military's strength by sicking Japan on them. He therefore promised Japan aid against the USA if they would declare war on the USA. Japan, nursing its own grievances with the US, agreed and attacked Pearl Harbor. Germany followed up with its own declaration of war, ruefully noting the two nations had already been at war for months considering US belligerency up until this point.
The situation continued to worsen for Germany. At first the u-boat campaign against british and american shipping was succeeding, but after the US/UK broke the german codes, they could easily find and destroy any u-boat that moved. Furthermore, the US and UK pursued an aggressive strategic bombing campaign on Germany's cities. And in Russia, the assault on Leningrad made no progress and that on Stalingrad was over-extended. A Russian counter-attack aimed at the unreliable German allies, Romanians, Italians, Hungarians and the like quickly broke through the German line and surrounded the 6th army at Stalingrad. An assault was made to relieve them but it failed, and soon the entire German army had to retreat to avoid being encircled yet again. In North Africa, Rommel's troops were no longer being reliably supplied due to air interference based out of Malta (proving that even the tiniest speck of british controlled territory had huge military significance, the very reason Germany had wanted to conquer all of Europe simply to deny Britain such opportunities.) Without the necessary fuel and ammunition, Montgomery made short work of the enemy and drove them out of North Africa. After this the story can be abbreviated, as Germany had no hope of victory. Hitler, believing in various factors that he felt favored Germany, continued to fight on. He felt that German production was increasing not decreasing, that Stalin's armies were taking too many casualties and would eventually peter out, and that the West would eventually lose air and sea superiority once his super submarines and jet fighters joined the battle. All of this was simply wishful thinking. There was no way Germany, even with jet fighters, could achieve air superiority against a United States with an industrial capacity 10 times that of Germany's. The U-boats were no good since the allies had planes, radar, and code-breakers available to sink any and all opposition, and the Russian army was vaster than anything Hitler could hope to destroy. It grew every year, rather than shrinking like he supposed.
After 1943, Italy abandoned Germany and had to be occupied to deny the Allie's such a lucrative gain in Europe. In 1944, Romania and Hungary followed and also had to be occupied to prevent their loss of territory, natural resources, and the like. A handful of treacherous officers who had never liked Hitler and saw that defeat was near attempted his assassination, but most of Germany's army and the German people were still 100% with him. Due to the ineptitude and cowardice of the bomber (he ran away instead of suicide bombing to make sure it killed Hitler), the whole thing fell apart. As 1945 closed the vice on Germany on all fronts and entire cities were being firebombed into smoke, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, Hitler shifted his goal from victory to simply making a statement and going out in glory. He decided to stay in Berlin and commit suicide rather than retreat any further or surrender and admit defeat. After a noble and fanatical resistance, the Soviets finally claimed Berlin and Germany surrendered soon after. However, Hitler had never surrendered his beliefs or his convictions that eventually History would prove him right and support his cause.
After the war, a brutal occupation set in by both the allies and the Soviets. Though Germany had never mistreated any of its conquered territories, even sparing cultural icons from war damage like Rome and Paris, the allies had no such compunctions. They took massive numbers of prisoners and let them starve to death without any food, medical care or shelter even though the war was over. On the soviet side, practically no german prisoner of war survived to return to Germany. Of the 300,000 taken prisoner at Stalingrad, a mere 6,000 survived. And in Eastern Europe, the soviet army had gone berserk, raping, looting, and murdering every German they saw. At this time every German ethnic who had lived outside of Germany's borders was rounded up and ethnic cleansed, in the midst of winter and with no food. Millions more died on this trail of tears back into the political borders of Germany. However, this barbaric treatment by all sides, which Germany had never done to the territories it occupied DURING the war, much less AFTER the war, escaped down the memory hole and is never spoken of by anyone. Despite these atrocities being well documented and proven beyond a doubt, all we ever hear about is the undocumented, unproven Holocaust which attempts to cast the Nazis as villains. For forty years Germany was split in half and the communist run East Germany suffered economic collapse, demographic decline and totalitarian rule. Even with Germany re-united, it is still stuck paying reparations to jews for the 'Holocaust,' it has banned any free speech defending or supporting the Nazis, and is still occupied by US troops who stay in bases all over Germany for no legitimate cause. The after-effects of WWII just keep on reverberating, and Germany has yet to pay its final fee for losing its bid for empire.
The greatest fault I find with Germany's conduct prior to and during the war, is not the Holocaust or the massive number of slavs it killed in its war with Bolshevism, but simply this:
Germany was living in the past. The age of empires was just a decade away from disappearing entirely at the time of 1940. By the 1970's the French, British, Netherlands, Americans, Japanese, and everyone else had retreated to their national boundaries. Germany, meanwhile, was paradoxically trying to make a new empire at the very time Imperialism was waning in support and making less economic sense than ever. A reactionary policy like trying to revive the 1600-1800's policy of colonialism, imperialism, and mercantilism in 1940 shows they were on the wrong historical trajectory. The real future of the economy was not based on claiming monopolies or natural resources, but on information technologies, automation, computers, free trade and world peace. In a couple short decades the EU had been formed, burying all old animosities and allowing a free enterprise zone where resources flowed freely across Europe -- the very goal Germany had sought for its economic and national security through war! The middle east oil supplies opened up, making places like Romania complete sidenotes, and a war to secure said oil supplies utterly senseless. And due to Germany aggravating tensions with Britain and France, it managed to drive them over to the USSR's side when they could have all allied against bolshevism and protected eastern europe (and east germany) from the iron curtain. Germany was a wasteland of missed opportunities. Why didn't Germany throw off the Versailles treaty but not invade other lands? Why didn't Germany make a defensive alliance against Russia? Why didn't Germany open up a free trade zone and demand all countries renounce imperialism, instead of trying to join in on the game? By the time the war began, most of Germany's jews had already left Germany. Germany could have avoided the entire holocaust smear by simply staying inside its borders, thus never abusing jews because no more even existed on German soil. Why wasn't Germany content with the deportation of jews from Germany?
If Nazi Germany had been a revolutionary instead of a reactionary nation, it would have done so much good. As a revolutionary, they could have established national socialism as the guiding philosophy of a new age. The idea of labor being treated fairly and well, of the middle class being nurtured and not preyed upon by feudal or corporate masters, and of a united Germany that had no racial or class or language or religious divisions -- without democratic party infighting but a tried and true dictator who kept the peace and stayed with a long-term plan. . .there's really no telling where Nazi Germany could have ended up. As shown during the war, German Scientists invented both the jet and the rocket. Could Germany have used that same brilliance and unity to reach the moon? To become a leader in computer technology? Could it have invented the nuke during peacetime and ensured their security against Russia in a non-violent, peaceful standoff like the Cold War? As the only people unwilling to betray the people by importing low-wage non-white serfs, as the only people unwilling to allow usury and fractional reserve banking, national socialism would have over time proven itself the most secure, prosperous, and culturally 'vibrant' region on earth. With Hitler's defeat, no bulwark was left to prevent the influx of crony capitalism, non-white cheap labor, racial nonsense about equality and communism sweeping across the world.
Instead Germany, with no view towards the future and no idea it could lose, without any interest in changing the rules of the game instead of bullheadedly trying to win a zero-sum game that is imperialism, simply armed itself and marshaled itself for war so it could finally become an Empire like 'all the other cool kids in Europe' and through the old system of mercantilism soon 'rule the world.' This was probably a good idea in the 1600's, but not 1940. If Germany had realized we were on the cusp of revolutionary change in all sectors of life, it could have preserved itself and become the leader of those changes. Now the racial and cultural cause of Europe has no leader. We are adrift and helpless because the bulk of our power and our ideology was sacrificed in pursuit of Empire. Whenever anyone wants, they could attempt a new nation on the model of Nazi Germany: racially pure, economically socialist with no class divisions, with a dictator who brooked no dissent and kept the media firmly in favor of the State and its ideology. It could have the hitler youth/boy scouts, the indoctrination in the schools, and the parades and movies that constantly harped on how great the Reich was and how proud everyone should be to belong to it. The environment would be protected, vacations and outdoor life promoted, families encouraged and giant monuments built meant to last 1,000 years. Dangerous fiscal policies could be avoided and only slow and steady progress through infrastructure and technological research would be allowed, instead of speculating and fractional reserve monetary inflations. These ideas are so unpopular, however, because last time they led to World War. How annoying, given it was not these revolutionary ideas, but the reactionary imperialist/mercantilist ones, that led Germany to war! Insofar as Germany was eager to occupy other states, it was not due to their nationalism or socialism, but their imperialism! Their mimicry of America, Britain, France, Netherlands, and every other state of the past. But like usual, the Nazis had their foot in two different worlds, the past and the future, and could not in such a short time transform themselves into what they truly should have been.
Next time, we will not make the same mistakes. Internal, not external, development will be the name of the game. And science, not 'raw materials,' will be our goal. In space, all the land we could ever wish and all the population we could ever dream of, is waiting, at the expense of no one else. And though we will free ourselves of both elitist minorities who exploit the middle class and hapless serf-like minorities who drag down the middle class, we will not abuse them or incarcerate them, and instead of annexing territory we feel belongs to us, we will simply fission off territory that does NOT belong to us -- that we want no part in. Taking cognizance of the changed world we live in, one of internet, computers, the green farming revolution, nuclear weapons and energy, automated factories and space stations, we will be the first people on earth who embrace the truth and model our society after it, instead of wishful thinking or reactionary dogma. But first there must be people with the courage to embrace that truth, and reject the lies that rule our world. If this doesn't occur, Nazi Germany, sadly, was the white West's last chance. Because one hundred years from now, we will have no choices left to us at all. At that time, we will all have wished the Nazis had won.